We have all seen the funny Verizon commercials in which the technicians states over and over again, “Can You Hear Me Now?” Over the years in business and in my role as a CEO, I’ve noticed that people really don’t “hear” what the other person is trying to say and even worse, they can’t express properly the thoughts they form in their mind. I call this, “ineffective communication”, and it’s the most common type of mistake I’ve witnessed over the years.
People often say to me, “David, isn’t communication a broad, over-used term?” To peel the proverbial onion, I’ve found that there are generally four types of ineffective communication and yes, I will admit to having made every mistake that follows.
- Wrong Audience
- Delayed Information
- Inaccurate Information
Now I won’t bore you with a detailed explanation of each of the above mentioned but I will say briefly that people often fail to provide background information which is key to the recipients decision making. We also tend keep our audience out of the loop, thus making it difficult for the listener to react on the correct message being delivered. At the end of the day, we must provide timely information as in the words of William Shakespeare himself, “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” Finally, and more detrimental is verbalizing inaccuracies and although it doesn’t frequently happen, when it does, it could be detrimental.